In The Spotlight – Tom Ryan

In The Spotlight – Tom Ryan
January 5, 2018 Hannah Marshallsay

This time we talk to  PFE’s man in Hong Kong. Tom Ryan, our Asia Market Manager, tells his PFE story.

What’s your journey been with PFE?

I first came to know PFE when I worked for Maersk. My role at the time was managing the relationship with PFE which required me to spend a good amount of time working with the PFE team. It was through developing that relationship that I started to see the opportunity that working for PFE might bring.

My personal plan was always to go out and work in Asia as it’s the biggest shipping hub in the world. PFE offered me a role that made this possible and so I took it.

In my role managing the Asian market for PFE, I work with our partner agent, Ensign at their offices in Hong Kong. I am responsible for 14 Ensign offices in the region. I work with the Ensign teams and our partner shipping lines to ensure that optimal working processes and resources are in place, so that we can manage our customers’ export supply chains effectively and deliver the best possible service.  

Number of years in the industry?

7. Before my job working for Maersk I was a Project Manager for Shell.

What makes PFE different from the rest?

PFE is special company. The ways it looks after its customers stands out. No matter what size or scale our customers are, they all get the same high level of service. It honestly doesn’t matter if we are moving 1 container for someone or 1,000 containers, we will make sure that they have the same experience working with us. We pull out the stops to deliver what we promise to every individual customer.  

This culture is what has created PFE’s consistent year on year growth. A large proportion of this has been organic growth from our existing customers.

Another defining characteristic of PFE is our agility. Compared to other large freight forwarding companies, we are very hands on. We are able to take decisions, such as tailoring the product we offer to our customers, without having to jump through lots of hoops. If we need to react to the market for example, we can have that conversation.

The industry is changing on a daily basis and something else that sets PFE apart is how we are constantly looking for how we can stay one step ahead. We are driven to continue to look for solutions to enable us to offer the best service to our customers.

What are three words that describe PFE?

Agile, Innovative and – this isn’t one word – Strong Values. PFE always has the best interests for its staff and customers in mind.

What is the favourite thing about your career?

In this industry every day is different. There is a clear end goal which everyone is working together to achieve, but there are always hurdles to get around. This regular challenge and diversity is extremely appealing to me.

I enjoy the autonomy of being out in Asia. Heading up the region comes with some stress, but I like being able to make decisions for myself on behalf of PFE. I know that I bear the responsibility of the decisions I take and have to deal with the consequences both good and bad.

I’ve been lucky to be able to travel within Asia a fair amount as well, so that personal desire has also been fulfilled.

Do you have any future ambitions?

I am continually looking at ways to develop myself and learn. I want to broaden my knowledge of the entire business. I’d like to get involved in working in other areas of the business: whether in the UK, another area of the world or wherever I am required to drive PFE’s growth. I am ambitious for myself and for PFE.

Who was your favourite childhood hero and why?

I’m from Liverpool, so it won’t be a surprise to you that my hero as a child was Ian Rush. I remember going to football games with my Dad and Ian Rush would always score the winner.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Seafood pasta. My Father’s side of the family is Italian. I was always given Italian food at home as a child. When I came back from Hong Kong before Christmas, my Mum had a bowl of seafood pasta ready for me. She is a very good cook.  

What’s your favourite movie?

The Godfather.  

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